Tag Archives | Propaganda

From Security Checkpoints to Predator Drones – Teaching Our Kids To Love Authority

If you’re intent on bringing about a police state marked by an increasing level of authoritarianism while carrying out crimes against humanity in faraway lands, it’s important that you have the support of your citizens. After all, as Aldous Huxley once said, “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”

Of course, if you leave it until it’s too late the citizens might develop unsavoury traits such as questioning authority and employing critical thinking, so it’s vital that the State ideology is drilled into them while they’re young. What better way to do this than with a series of exciting toys?

As Barack Obama continues his killing spree via Predator drones in the Middle East, killing innocent children in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere even as the UN launches a major investigation into civilian deaths, American kids can get in on the action as well, with Maisto’s UAV Predator drone toy.… Read the rest

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The Mind’s Compartments Create Conflicting Beliefs

Picture: moumou82

Scientific American shows its biases in an article about the psychological basis for biased thinking, cognitive dissonance, and mental compartmentalization. The article also includes some handy tips on how to bring people around to your way of seeing things.

If you have pondered how intelligent and educated people can, in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence, believe that evolution is a myth, that global warming is a hoax, that vaccines cause autism and asthma, that 9/11 was orchestrated by the Bush administration, conjecture no more. The explanation is in what I call logic-tight compartments—modules in the brain analogous to watertight compartments in a ship.

The concept of compartmentalized brain functions acting either in concert or in conflict has been a core idea of evolutionary psychology since the early 1990s. According to University of Pennsylvania evolutionary psychologist Robert Kurzban in Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite (Princeton University Press, 2010), the brain evolved as a modular, multitasking problem-solving organ—a Swiss Army knife of practical tools in the old metaphor or an app-loaded iPhone in Kurzban’s upgrade.

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Presenting Amazon’s Predator Drone Toy For Kids

Looking to instill your children with some patriotic values? That’s where the Maisto Fresh Metal Tailwinds U.S. Military Aircraft – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) RQ-1 Predator comes in, for sale now via Amazon:

The RQ-1 Predator can serve in a reconnaissance role and fire two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The aircraft, in use since 1995, has seen combat over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, and Yemen.

The customer reviews explain:

“Educationally, this toy can’t be beat – inculcating a predilection for indiscriminate, imperialist violence against non-combatants from oppressed and marginalized communities is precisely in accordance with truly “American values!”

“I’m purchasing one of these drones for my nephew as a visual aid. I’m training him that if he can use these drones to kill enough innocent people he’ll be named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year twice and win the Nobel Peace Prize someday.”

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Anti-Vaccine Book For Kids Extols The Virtues Of Measles

Via Salon, the new hot genre of children’s books. No word on whether “vaccine vampire” young adult versions are on the way:

Measles is responsible for thousands of tragic (and preventable) deaths each year. Which is perhaps why so many reviewers are panning a new book by Stephanie Messenger, an Australian author and anti-vaccine activist. According to the author’s page, “Melanie’s Marvelous Measles” was written to:

Educate children on the benefits of having measles and how you can heal from them naturally and successfully. Often today, we are being bombarded with messages from vested interests to fear all diseases in order for someone to sell some potion or vaccine, when, in fact, history shows that in industrialized countries, these diseases are quite benign and, according to natural health sources, beneficial to the body.

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D.A.R.E. To Cease Teaching Middle Schoolers About The Evils Of Marijuana

Not because they realized that their efforts amount to creepy brainwashing, but because a study suggested that being warned by D.A.R.E. increases, rather than decreases, tweens’ likelihood of smoking pot. Reason writes:

D.A.R.E., the national nonprofit that has promoted “Drug Abuse Resistance Education” to elementary, middle, and high school students since the early 1980s, will all but drop anti-drug material from its curriculum for fifth and sixth grade students.

“D.A.R.E. America has determined that anti-drug material is not age-appropriate,” a state affiliate leader told Reason. “The new curriculum focuses on character development”…[and] does not bring up the subject of marijuana at all.

The curriculum change is likely part of an ongoing attempt by the organization to restore its credibility with the scientific community. In 1999, the American Psychological Association conducted a study of D.A.R.E. graduates and concluded that its curriculum was ineffective. The Government Accountability Office announced in 2003 that D.A.R.E.

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The New Soft-Focus Lens Of War

Via the The New Inquiry, Huw Lemmey on social media as tools of destruction:

By nightfall tonight that explosion which just shook your neighborhood, in one of the most densely populated areas on earth, will have been liked over 8,000 times on Facebook. Welcome to Gaza City.

The transmutation of territorial control today enters a new topography, an extension of the historical “propaganda war”: control of the networked space online. The IDF have run a comprehensive social media campaign from the first stages of the new assault, announcing the assassination of Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari on Twitter, followed up by YouTube footage of his targeted killing within minutes.

Far from embracing ideas of a futuristic, dehumanising warfare, the instagrams of IDF, processed through the various “retro” and “soft-focus” filters, serve a dual purpose. The first purpose is that of historicization. Much as the hipstamatic literally filters the contemporary condition through the lens of the ’60s and ’70s, the use of “retro” filters removes the images of today’s IDF from their context within the current campaign of blockade and air assault and reframes them as part of the Israeli foundation story.

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